There have been several opportunities over the years, put forward by you bookish sort, for me to meet Henry Green, and despite the best of intentions, I have gotten lost each time en route to the party. But now, the lovely Trevor and his friend, Proustitute (a name I love saying), are presenting another opportunity to read Green as a group, perhaps from the lovely new NYRB editions that are just starting to roll out. And even better, an opportunity to read Green's works over the course of a year. Not a Green week or Green month or Green season. So smart. I am excited to get started and would love to hear your thoughts about Green if you have already had the pleasure of his acquaintance.
Some are calling the volume you see above a giant "dare" book. Publishing photos of themselves lying prostrate under the weighty tome, overwhelmed by both its physical size (10.8 x 3.5 x 14 inches, 13.4 pounds) and the complexity of its contents. Dalkey Archive Press has given English speakers a rare opportunity to read Arno Schmidt's 1970 publication Zettel’s Traum or Bottom's Dream in a new translation by John E. Woods, and many of us, embracing the dare aspect of this or not, see this as a singular opportunity to gain access to what has been described as "the definitive work of a titan of postwar German literature." This will be holiday reading for me I think. The one disappointment? I wish the quality of this edition was a little better. The book you see above was poorly packaged and bounced around in transit for sure, but the slipcase is a very flimsy cardboard encasement, already coming apart in numerous places. You can see it on the top edge here. The book itself has a higher production value. Want a peek inside?
So those are the plans and then there is what I am actually reading right now - Fiona MacCarthy's wonderful and rich biography of William Morris and Jezebel's Daughter by Wilkie Collins. Just started the Collins so I will get back to you on that, but I have been with the Morris bio for over a week now and it is marvelous. But it does leave me wondering about what those of us living now will leave behind that is beautiful and about our conceptions of what "work" really means - a means of economically sustaining ourselves or a devotion to a passion that sustains us.
What are all of you reading here at the beginning of fall?